Why is business intelligence so important?

Earlier this year we were delighted to win a Business Intelligence award with our finance, CRM and business intelligence software Sage 200. A question we’ve always strived to answer with Sage 200 is “What’s the point in having loads of data across your organisation if you can’t access or interrogate it to get the information you need to make those key business decisions?”

Having business critical information at your fingertips is essential to ensure your business keeps running smoothly. It also gives you the ability to act quickly and make better connections between different areas of your business.Sage 200 wins best business intelligence award at the Software Satisfaction Awards 2011

Are you getting the insight you need from your business software?

There are a few key questions you need to ask yourself to identify whether you’re getting what you need out of your system

  • Can you interrogate data easily?
  • Can you easily change views and create dashboards?
  • Can you quickly and easily customise reports?
  • Can you easily drill down into more detailed information within a few clicks (or do you need to re-run reports and start from scratch)?
  • Can you automate the regular reports and dashboards you need?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ then you need to rethink the system you’re using.

Visibility is essential

Good business intelligence should be at the heart of every organisation as it can provide increased control – visibility is essential. Do you know who the best performers are? Can you easily identify areas for improvement? Is stock going missing and you can’t identify where it’s going? Is there an error in your accounts and you need to drill down to invoicing or billing quickly to make your P&L balance – can you do this in a few clicks or do you need to re-run a report that takes forever?

Turning data into actionable information

Analytical tools can give you the insight that you need to achieve real business agility as they can provide increased visibility of your financial prospects, help you better understand the implications of an investment, and can make and analyse connections between different areas of your business. Business Intelligence helps you to embrace strategic planning for business growth, by identifying key trends and patterns in your data and gain a better understanding of your business, transforming data into actionable information. You can be more responsive and can support future planning with the ability to identify opportunities to increase revenue or to reduce costs.

Improve efficiency

AND the most important reason to have good Business Intelligence is that it can improve efficiency within your business and as a result increase productivity. Simple, easy to use tools that can be used by anyone across the business can help you share information across different departments, enabling you to save time on reporting and analytics. This is particularly essential if you have regular reports you need to run e.g. monthly executive reports where you need the same information each month. Sharing information reduces duplication of data and means all your figures match up. It allows you to get on with the more important things like running your business.

Here at Sage we feel that having good Business Intelligence tools is one of the most important things to get right for our customers. Jane Naish, our Principal Business Analyst for Sage 200 gives us her thoughts…

“In my past experience of implementing ERP systems for a small, growing business, I noticed it was easy to get data into the systems, but far too difficult to get information back out. I formed the opinion that you go to all the bother of inputting data for one reason alone: so that you can use it.  I felt the systems I was implementing only did half the job. They were an effective system of record but you did have to work very hard to get your data out again.


The value of Sage 200 Business Intelligence, is that it uses what we call ‘cubes’ to easily shape data. We’ve done lots of customer testing to make sure that you don’t have to work hard to get the data out of your system and it’s easy to interrogate data and we’ve put a lot of thought into making the data meaningful. We know we’ve succeeded when we see people get genuinely excited about the patterns they can see in their own data.”

Vicky Ferrer, Sage 200 Team

Sage 200 offers mid-market businesses the opportunity to share data across different departments and allows users to interrogate it quickly and easily to get the information they need. Want to know more? Email us or call us on 0845 111 9988